I wanna start this off in roughly the same way he does in the video, because I think that is important. I am a player who stacks among predators, and my personal stats are a 7.8 K/D, 2-time solo queue apex predator, and my personal best is 28 kills in a game. And because of this, I can see this video through his eyes because we come from the same area. Here is the link to the video.
Watch past the initial part of the video, because I can tell already y’all aren’t gonna like the beginning. The points he makes are what make the video, and this post, an interesting topic. The post below is a half summary of the video, along with some of my personal thoughts on the matter from the eyes of someone who plays apex.
What this video and my above paragraph have in common, is that apex appears to balance its matches in relatively the same way. There is no way to 100% confirm what is happening, but people like myself notice patterns over hundreds, if not thousands, of games that I’d like to point out here.
Apex legends balances teams based on averages. If true, raw skill-based matchmaking existed, there wouldn’t be level 60’s with low stats in my lobbies. The game would know that something is wrong and wouldn’t put us in the same game. What it likely does is assign a player a number based on their “skill”, however it finds that, and balances teams based on those numbers. I would undoubtedly (there is no way to be humble about this, I apologize in advance) be a 99-100 overall player. My stats back it up if anyone would like to disagree. If the average lobby is likely a 60-70 overall lobby, what it will do is have teams with ratings of 80-65-65, which averages out to roughly that 70, and my team will likely be 100-40-60, trying to average out the teams to make it “fair” for everybody. But this causes more problems than it solves.
What it does is make it absolutely no fun for anybody. It means, I have to drop 15-20 kills a game to make up for my teammates. Their fate is in my hands. It also means that my teammates, which I have had some REALLY inexperienced teammates at the “skill level” I should be at, will always need to fight an uphill battle against much better players and inevitably, will have no fun either. So what is the point of the system then? To discourage stacks of friends? Because again, I stack with other likewise apex predators, and we completely avoid the matchmaking system entirely because there is nothing that can be done about us. So why screw up the matchmaking to solve a problem that isn’t being solved?
And another point that was said in the video that I completely agree with, is the good ol’ “oh I just play for fun”. If you say that, you might believe it, but you are a liar. Nobody has fun repeatedly getting slapped around, which is why the system exists in the first place. If you complain “oh I shouldn’t have to play against predators”, then are you playing for fun or are you playing to win? Because with that extreme ideology, you should know that predators make up 0.2% of the population. At 0.2%, they should appear in roughly 1 in every 8 of your games. And if he survives, and gets good enough loot to become comfortable, AND kill you? There’s always the next 15 second queue time into those same 1/8 odds. That’s the beauty of battle royale titles. So ask yourself this again. Are you playing to have fun, or are you playing to be competitive and over-estimating your mechanical ability?
All I’m saying is that the current system isn’t benefiting 99% of players. There are what I call “gated queues”, where level 1-30’s fight against each other to learn the game, which I am completely OK with, but if there was strict SBMM I should see big names and good players everywhere. But what I am seeing is the opposite, which goes against what SBMM is. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had a random predator on my team while solo queueing since they implemented “skill based matchmaking”, which was around the initial launch of duos.
Overall, just an interesting topic that should get some brains stirring. In my opinion, if matchmaking was simply ping based, you’d see far better match quality, less stacking predators farming pub games, and overall more enjoyment in the game because after all, it is a game that’s designed to be fun. And for the players below average, is been shown that learning from better players is much more effective, as you can see firsthand what other players do, rather than learn bad habits vs bad players that go unchecked, so that when you finally reach a new level of matchmaking you get obliterated and don’t know what’s wrong.
Apex legends likely doesn’t have SBMM, but rather team balancing, which is a system that doesn’t benefit anybody, isn’t fun for anybody, and largely isn’t a well thought up system in the first place, as it leads to player frustration around the board. As well, stacking predators are pretty much immune to the system, which is designed to specifically target them, because there simply aren’t enough players to put them in games amongst each other.